US, Russian, French Ships Spotted Off Irish Coast Ahead Of Russian Exercises
IRELAND - Russian, US and French warships have been spotted off the Irish coast by the Irish Air Corps and Navy ahead of Russian Naval and live fire missile exercises set to take place on Thursday.
The ships from the United States, Russia and France were spotted operating in international waters off the coast of Ireland, "both outside and inside Ireland’s Economic Zone of responsibility (EEZ)" according to Ireland's Air Corps.
The Corps also monitored RAF combat aircraft flying south east of the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) according to a Defense Forces spokeswoman.
The Defense spokesperson stated that the vessels are all operating outside Irish territory which extends about 12 miles from the coast and are acting in accordance with maritime law.
"There is no restriction on warships operating on the High Seas inside and outside of Exclusive Economic Zones" she stated.
Yesterday the Irish Air Corps spotted a "Slava Class Guided Missile Cruiser" with a helicopter sitting on its deck and Stoikiy corvette that is armed with anti-submarine torpedoes.
The Irish Air Corps also spotted a Russian support ship and another ship that they believe belongs to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The Irish Air Corps also stated that they spotted two French naval ships that were accompanied by RAF Typhoon fighter jets outside the EEZ shadowing the Russian ships.
The US NAvy's USS Roosevelt destroyer equipped with two helicopters was also observed by the Irish Defense Forces.
The LE Samuel Beckett, which is an Irish offshore patrol vessel was also in the area observing the naval forces gathering in the area.
The exercises were originally going to take place within Ireland's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) but they relocated the drills 'as a gesture of good will' after Irish fishermen announced that they would interrupt the Russian excessive by keeping a permanent presence of fishing ships in the area during Russia's military maneuvers.